SHAW (GEORGE BERNARD) Autograph 'love letter' signed ('GBS'), to Ellen Terry, 1916
Lot 140
SHAW (GEORGE BERNARD) Autograph 'love letter' signed ('GBS'), to Ellen Terry, 1916
Sold for £1,875 (US$ 2,957) inc. premium

Lot Details
SHAW (GEORGE BERNARD)
Autograph 'love letter' signed ('GBS'), to Ellen Terry: 'My blessedest darling Ellen – for such were the feelings that rushed over me when you appeared, willow slender, on the roof the other day – I have been away from London ever since the book came out, and so have been unable to send a single copy to anyone...Why do I make me nervous? I know why you make me nervous. It is because people are looking on, and the way I want and ought to behave could be ridiculous and indecorous. But meet me by moonlight alone; and – my word! – you shall see...', one page, oblong 8vo, Wyndham Croft, Turners Hill, 15 June 1916

Footnotes

  • Shaw conducted a celebrated, long and flirtatious correspondence with Ellen Terry, but it is generally accepted that their relationship never evolved from being an epistolary one, though he did have affairs with other women, even after his marriage. As in Shaw's futuristic later plays, characterised by intellectual passion and thought-inspired ecstasy, rather than overt sex, his relationship with Ellen Terry was an affectionate one conducted on paper; they seldom met and he himself described it as 'a paper courtship – perhaps the pleasantest and most enduring of all courtships.' He also wrote in the preface of his correspondence with her, published in 1931: 'Only on paper has mankind ever yet achieved glory, beauty, truth, knowledge, virtue and abiding love.' The letter is published in A Correspondence.

    Included is a postcard showing Terry in a theatrical role, boldly signed by her below the image.
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